Nadia Zaffaroni graduated with honors in biological sciences at the University of Milan in 1980 and received her Ph.D. degree in 1990 from the same University. She serves as a Team Leader within the Translational Research Unit in the Department of Experimental Oncology at the Fondazione IRCCS National Cancer Institute (Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori) of Milan, Italy. From 2006-2009, she served as Chairperson of the Pharmacology and Molecular Mechanisms Group of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC). Her main area of investigation concerns translational research and is focused on the definition of new biomarkers (mainly related to telomere maintenance mechanisms and apoptosis pathways) and the validation of new therapeutic targets. In the context, her research group gained a recognized experience in the design, synthesis, and development of gene-silencing approaches targeting telomerase and other tumor cell survival factors as well as in the development of strategies for the intracellular delivery of these molecules. More recently, she has focused on the expression and functional role of microRNAs in prostate cancer with the aim to identify new therapeutic targets for advanced disease. In this context, her research group identified miR-205 as an oncosuppressor microRNA in the disease, able to counteract epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition mainly through the downregulation of protein kinase Cepsilon.
Biography Updated on 27 July 2010